This article is over 5 years old and may contain outdated information.


Canadian photographer wins international award for heartwarming image

Daisy Gilardini was awarded the 2016 Grand Prize in the Nature’s Best Photography for her image featuring a mother polar bear with cubs
  • Dec 08, 2016
  • 206 words
  • 1 minutes
polar bear cub wapusk national park Expand Image

A Canadian photographer has won an international photography competition, beating out 20,000 entries from across 51 countries.

Daisy Gilardini was awarded the 2016 Grand Prize in the Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards for her photo, “Motherhood.” The image shows a mother polar bear cuddling her two cubs in Manitoba’s Wapusk National Park.

Polar bear mothers exit their maternity dens in February and March, when their cubs are around four months old. Conveniently for the hungry bears, baby seals begin to appear on highly accessible Hudson Bay pack ice around the same time. 

“As environmental photographers, it is our duty to capture the beauty of places and species at risk and raise awareness through the universal power of imagery,” says Gilardini, who braved -54C temperatures and 60 kilometre/hour winds to capture the photo.

Originally from Switzerland, Gilardini lives in British Columbia. Her photo is now on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

“While science provides the data necessary to explain issues and suggest solutions, photography symbolizes these issues,” Gilardini writes. “Science is the brain, while photography is the heart, and we need to reach people’s hearts and emotions in order to move them to action, for nature and for us.”


Are you passionate about Canadian geography?

You can support Canadian Geographic in 3 ways:

Related Content

People & Culture

Royal Canadian Geographical Society Awards 2020

Award recipients honoured in the first virtual Annual General Meeting and Fellows Show.

  • 2630 words
  • 11 minutes


Do not disturb: Practicing ethical wildlife photography

Wildlife photographers on the thrill of the chase  — and the importance of setting ethical guidelines 

  • 2849 words
  • 12 minutes
British and French airmen fly over the monument prior to the opening of the service


Vimy Canadian Memorial photo essay

A trip back in time to the memorial’s dedication

  • 485 words
  • 2 minutes
Climate strike Victoria BC


Why Canada should recognize its citizens’ environmental rights

David Boyd, a Canadian environmental lawyer and UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, reveals how recognizing the human right to a healthy environment can spur positive action for the planet

  • 1444 words
  • 6 minutes